The versatility of the Royal Slope as a growing region will be more apparent as result of the federal government’s establishment last year of this American Viticultural Area championed in large part by the Lawrence family, but winemakers across the Northwest and international critics have long appreciated the fruit this region north of the Wahluke Slope. Josh and Lisa Lawrence team with Walla Walla-based winemaker Aryn Morell for their winery brand, now 15 years old, and Thunderstone is a classic expression of Syrah, pulled from Joseph Phelps clone off their petite Scarline block. It opens with a hint of gaminess, leather and white pepper before the stream of purple fruit emerges. The mouthfeel is remarkable, plush yet not overly extracted, leading out with a nibble of black olive and a blend of blueberry and pomegranate that adds some pop.
Production: 208 cases